“I have my forever home! I have been adopted!” I can just imagine what my friend’s adopted daughter was thinking on her way to the U.S. after leaving the Ukraine and at least four years of being an orphan. I remember the long years of waiting with my friend…the praying and the crying…the wondering of who it would be.
This would’ve been my exclamation too upon becoming a Christian…but I didn’t really understand at that point all of my new realities as one being saved.
Here is what Galations 4:3-7 says:
“3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principlesof the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
“12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
This week, my pastor asked us three questions:
“What is the need for adoption?”
“what are the benefits of our adoption?”
“What are the results of our adoption?”
Before my friend adopted her daughter (whom we now call “Sweet Abby”), she was an orphan. Like her, you could say we (people in Christ) were spiritual orphans. But we were much more than that. This Galations passage says we were actually slaves to the elementary principles of the world and Galations 3:23 and 24 actually says we were slaves to the Law.
But now…we have been reconciled with God through the perfect righteousness of Christ. We are received and adopted by our heavenly Father.
So what? What does that mean to me? How does that change me besides making me feel good?
We have been made new creations…2 Corinthians 5:17: “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son…”
He has freed us now from the dominion of sin. This doesn’t mean we won’t sin. But sin has no rule or dominion over us anymore. We no longer HAVE to sin. We can now choose not to sin! We have the freedom to die more and more to sin and live more and more…to righteousness. We are able to do this because we are given the Spirit of Christ.
Another benefit of being adopted is that we now have access to our Father in heaven. Wow. WE can approach GOD! WITH CONFIDENCE…AS HIS PRIVILEGED SONS AND DAUGHTERS!
Has this become remarkable to you? Or has it become dry? Have you heard all of this already and not really moved by it anymore?
Sweet Abby has been adopted for about three years…and I don’t think it has become dry to her yet. She is in love with her new mommy and daddy…always in awe that she was singled out and bought by compassionate parents.
I need to hear this again because every time I do I am re-amazed! Is that a word?!
So as amazing as this is…there is more…what are the results of this adoption…the goal of it?
The goal of it is that we would bear the family image.
That more and more…we would look like Christ…our brother. And in doing that, we will look more and more like our Father in Heaven.
Just like I look like my mom, I use the same mannerisms as my sister and now my daughter is saying things I say. It is natural that we do this…bear family resemblances. And it is natural now for us…to bear our new family resemblances as well. The family of God. And by this–we make the Gospel of Jesus Christ more appealing to those who are watching.
Does this just happen?
Well…it hasn’t “just” happened in my life.
It has been the work of the Spirit (and my cooperating with it) and it has taken place over the span of about 15 years. I am learning new habits by spending time with my Father in prayer, His Word and with other believers (my brothers and sisters in Christ).
As much as I am in awe of sweet Abby getting a home and wonder how happy that must make her, I wonder too about my friend who waited so long. What an amazing story of heartache and longing and waiting and then of finally receiving and adopting…and now living out her new life as a mom. Little Abby cannot grasp what my friend endured. This makes me wonder…of the story I’m unaware of. That story of time before I turned to the Lord…before I knew Him as my Heavenly Father. Thinking of my Father waiting for me to be reconciled to Him makes me want to love Him more. As much as I want Abby to know how amazingly blesssed she is and to never forget it and to enjoy her new family…I want myself to do the same in regards to my new family. I pray that I never squander this incredible opportunity to grow and be tranformed into the image of Christ and Father in Heaven.
Written from notes taken from Darrell Jung’s sermon: “Adopted into God’s Family”.
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